Monday, December 17, 2018

Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirl Cookies


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 Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was a little frustrating. I had a huge list of things I wanted to bake and make and I tried to do way to much multitasking, consequently, several of the things I made did not turn out. One burned, one was undercooked and the other tasted terrible. Oh well, lesson learned. 

I was successful at making several batches of Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirls, which I had made of the first time last week and loved. 




This recipe is so easy and delicious that if you do not already make them you must make the time to whip up a batch for yourself to eat with your afternoon tea and one to share as well. 





Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirl Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup of butter, very soft
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
11/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup of chocolate chips of Ghirardeli wafers wafers

Directions

Preheat oven to 375"F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

With a hand held or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together the butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the corn starch and the flour and mix well. 

Fit a disposable piping bag with a large star tip and fill the bag with the prepared dough. Pipe the dough into whatever shape you like, circles, S's, straight lines, etc on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes and the edges are just light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. 

Melt the chocolate chips or wafers in a bowl set over a double boiler or in the microwave according to the package directions. 

Once cookies are completely cooled dip into melted chocolate chocolate. 

Enjoy!





Have a great day!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Silent Sunday 12-16-2018



Have a great day!



Saturday, December 15, 2018

200th Annivarsary of Silent Night


Good morning.  It is only 10 days until Christmas, I hope that you are enjoying the season. I am trying to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of the "most wonderful time of the year".




I personally love Christmas carols and listen to them from early November until New Years. I recently read that this year marks to 200th anniversary of the beloved song Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht or as we know it Silent Night, written by Joseph Mohr and composed by Franz Gruber in the village of Obendorf. From its humble beginnings this beautiful song is now sung the world over and has been translated into 300 languages. 



Silent Night  by historian Werner Thuswaldner. 


You can watch The First Silent Night from PBS to learn about the poem that was set to music in 1818 and preformed for the first time on Christmas Eve. I loved this program, it is filled with history, beautiful scenery and of course music. 






Or read about the song here in this book by Linda Granfield. 

Have a great day!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.





Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Favorites from Candid Appetite, How Sweet Eats, Once Upon a Chocolate Life and More


Good morning! It's 11 days until Christmas and I am starting to feel a little pressure to get all of my baking finished this weekend and then shipped to the recipients on Monday. Everything else I needed to do for Christmas is finished and I have been enjoying lots of Christmas music, movies and holiday lights. What about you? Are you ready for the big day? 


Interesting Food


Image and Recipe from the Candid Appetite


Feast your eyes on this Baked Brie and Bread Wreath from the Candid Appetite, it is the perfect appetizer for any holiday gathering. I could eat this entire things myself. 


Image How Sweet Eats


If you are looking for the main course to your holiday meal this Holiday Stuffed Pork Tenderloin from How Sweet Eats just might be it!





Eggnog Cheesecake with Sugared Cranberries is on my list of things to make for Christmas dinner. 


Image Woman's Day

I love these Partridge Cookies! If only I had the patiences to decorate like this. 




Caramelized Almond Bark is an easy and delicious treat to make for your holiday table or gift baskets. 



Hot Chocolate with Eggnog Whipped Cream is the perfect drink on a cold night. 



Mulled Wine always a classic for Christmas. 


Interesting Reading

I love this article, A New Standard of Measurement




 Interesting Movies/Tv


25 Binger Worthy Christmas Movies 0n Netflix


Interesting Books 






















Interesting Finds


My new favorite perfume, Toca Florence



I have this Nest perfume on my Christmas list. 



This doll is so sweet. Sadly I do not have any young girls to give it to. 



I love this little mouse too!




Fo more gift Ideas you can check out my Christmas Gifts 2018 Pinterest Board.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. Remember to slow down and enjoy the season, after all it only happens once a year and soon it will be over. 

If you found any interesting books, gifts, recipes or more please share with us. 



A few more things you might like.

This post contains affiliate links.





Thursday, December 13, 2018

Jolabokaflod: Start a New Christmas Tradition


Good morning! Yesterday I posted about my favorite Christmas memories and traditions, just thinking about them leaves with a smile on my face. Although it is not specifically a family tradition one of the things that we often give one another for Christmas is books. 


The Year of Wonder

Everyone in my family is a voracious reader and one of our favorite things to do is to read together. We make our beverage of choice and then all sit together either in the living room with the light of the glowing Christmas tree or we jump into bed under a pile of down comforters and read together. My husband actually finds this to be a strange custom(not the reading but the congregating in bed) but it is something that we have done since we were little kids. Often times my husband will come upstairs to my room at my mom's and my sister and I will be sitting in bed reading(sometimes we share a book), laughing and talking. Then a little while later my other sister will come in and sit on the end of the bed and then my niece will arrive and so on and so on until there are about 6 people and a couple of pups crammed in the bed, a few people standing and maybe one on the floor. 


The Woman Who Kept Everything

A few weeks ago my younger sister sent me an article on Jolabokaflod, pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot, which for those who don't know is the annual flood of new books and Icelandic tradition of exchanging books with loved ones on Christmas Eve. The "Book Flood" tradition dates back to World War II when foreign imports were restricted and paper was cheap so books became the predominant gift to give. 


Be Brave


Every year at the start of the holiday season, my mailbox in inundated with gift catalogs, one year I stacked them up and the pile reached above my kneecaps. In Iceland the holiday season starts with the delivery of the Bokatindindi,  a catalog of all of the newest book releases from the Icelandic Publishers Association, delivered to every household in Iceland. 


Design & Style

 Here is an interesting factoid: Iceland publishes more books per person than any place in the world and most of these books are sold between September and December. Who knew?

I think this is the perfect tradition to adopt for Christmas. It is a wonderful way to introduce children to a love of books and to continue to foster the love through their entire lives. You can share an old favorite, or a classic piece of literature,  maybe even your favorite cookbook(the Kindle book is on sale for $2.99), or perhaps introduce your family and friends to something new


Educated


Do you give books for Christmas gifts? If so please share a few of the ones that you will be giving this year. If not, do you think this might be a tradition that you would enjoy?

Have a wonderful day! 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. 




Tuesday, December 11, 2018

My Christmas Traditions & Memories


Good morning! I hope that your week has started off well. Mine is great, today I will be getting my HVAC . After a week with no heat downstairs I will be toasty and warm and more importantly I will be able to start baking. It has been a bit of a challenge to use room temperature butter when room temperature has been 50-55. 


Me(on the left) and my siblings. 

I love Christmas and it has nothing to do with presents. Christmas is all about time spent with family, friends and of course the memories of all of our family traditions. 





Typically at my mom's the Christmas trees go up on Thanksgiving day, that way we have time over the weekend to relax and decorate it slowly. In the living room we have a "formal tree" with an ever evolving look, some years gold and white ornaments, other years all white and one year we had a tree that was decorated with just hundreds of white lights and snow. 




The family room tree is the tree that is decorated with all of the ornaments that we made over the years, the ones that we give each other each year and some funny little ones made of clay that depict the kids and grand kids. They began with just the four of us, my siblings and I,  and then as the grand kids and grand pups came along they were added as well. As we unwrap each ornament we recall to one another exactly where we lived and the circumstances of making or buying the ornament. It is one of my favorite parts of the holiday. 

Sitting under the family room tree in a place of honor are stuffed animals from our childhood, my brothers raggedly little dog Ralph wearing a blue sweater made from a sock, my sisters Big Bird, a little faded but still smiling, my Raggedy Ann. There are a few others but these were our favorites. 




On Christmas Eve day we have a sugar cookie decorating contest. My brother or I make tons of cookies, frostings and of course we have bowls and bowls of jimmiessprinkles and every other thing needed to make a beautiful cookie. Then we have a family gathering for whomever would like to come over, just like my grandparents did when I was growing up. Unlike my grandmothers gathering which started just before midnight mass and continued well after the walk home from mass ours starts around 6:00 just after the early Christmas Eve mass for kids. We have an Italian buffet and lots of desserts and cookies. We always open one gift, typically our Christmas pj's and slippers and then we spend the rest of the evening doing puzzles(this is one of our favorites), playing games or visiting with the relatives. 

Then it is off to Midnight mass, some years at the very same church my grandparents attended, other years we go to the Cathedral to celebrate mass with the Archbishop. Then it is home for a cocoa and bed. 




In the morning when we wake up we always follow the trail of Santa's footprints and the candy that fell out of his pack to the gifts under the tree. We eat cinnamon rolls, which my mom makes using my grandmothers' recipe, have cocoa and coffee as we open presents and enjoy the laughter, smiles and shouts of joy from my niece and nephew as they open their gifts from Santa. 





Then we spend the day watching our favorite Christmas movies, eating, and reading. Once it gets dark we go caroling with the kids and have a Christmas parade around the neighborhood. Then more of our relatives come over and we play dominos, do puzzles, eat again and visit with the cousins who have come from near and far for family Christmas. I am blessed because I have lots and lots of cousins as my mom is from a family of 10 kids and Christmas is when almost all of us are home for the year so it is a wonderful time to catch up with one another. 


Cinnamon Roll Muffins Recipe HERE


These are just a few of our traditions, we also go sledding or ice skating over Christmas week. My mom takes the grandkids on a few adventures so that my siblings and I can go shopping, out to some of our favorite restaurants, to the museums or to see some of our old friends. 




My favorite off all of our traditions is when we go to see the Christmas lights, a tradition that my grandfather started and we continue to this day. When we were little, on Christmas Eve my grandfather would take us before midnight mass to see the lights and then drop us off for mass.  Nowadays my mom and I go almost every night that I am home. We make our respective drinks, a cocoa for me and a coffee for her and we drive along looking at the lights, talking laughing and reminiscing about times past. 


What are your favorite family traditions? Are they ones from your childhood or new ones that you have made since you had your own family. 

Have a great day!


Monday, December 10, 2018

My 10 Favorite Target Finds for Christmas


City Pillow


Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. It was a wild one here, we had a little snow, a lot of rain and a lot of strong winds and flooding. The heat went out downstairs and could't be fixed, we have to get a new HVAC,  so we spent the better part of the weekend upstairs where it was warm until our new one is installed.  



Canister with Wood Top

Although I am done Christmas shopping I still enjoy looking at the sales that come to my inbox and one of my favorites is from Target. Here are a few fun things from Opalhouse, Hearth & Home and Threshold that I thought you might enjoy. 


City Scene Travel Mug and Let it Snow Mug $9.99! 

I love this City Scene Mug and Let It Snow Cup, the photo doesn't look too great but it is a really cute set for the season. 




I did buy these Hearth & Home Napkins to use on my Christmas table and they look great with my Twas the Night Before Christmas Transferware and my plaid chargers. 



Napkins

If you like plaid you might like these napkins to use not only for your holiday table but all winter long too. 




Pinecone Bookends are great for your library, study or bedroom. 





This platter is a great hostess gift or a gift to friends and family filled with your favorite cookies. 




cinnamon candle is an easy gift for yourself or friends. You could pair it with some bath items and make a basket. 






Or a nice comfy throw paired with a mug, some tea and maybe a book.






If it has a dachshund on it than I need it, these cards are perfect for me or for the doxie lover in your life. 


These are just a few of the things that I saw on my recent trip to Target and in their email.  I put together a college of a few more things , just in case you missed them. 

Have a great day! 

 NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Saturday Finds: Mercury Glass


Good morning and a very restful and peaceful weekend to you. I hope that you are relaxing and savoring the season. After I drink my morning chocolate while basking in the early morning glow of my Christmas tress I will be baking and making Christmas candy. 


Pottery Barn Hurricane Lights and Mercury Glass Globes 

Although I am finished decorating I still enjoy looking at beautiful decorations and one of my favorites is mercury glass.  I think it adds the perfect glow to your decor and it is so classic. You can add a few votives or or candle holders to your table or pinecone lights to your tree for a little glamour. 

Here are 10 of my favorite mercury glass finds for this week. 






Beautiful set of Mercury Glass Trees from Walmart. 





Beautiful set of mercury glass ornaments
















I love this Pine & Paper white Arrangement from Pottery Barn. The best part is that it is only $8.99!







Beautiful candle from Target.






Holiday Lights to add sparkle to your tree. 















 A Mercury glass lamp to add a festive glow to any room in the house. 







Mercury Glass Globes from Pottery Barn. 


Are you a fan of mercury glass? Do you use it in your decor? 

Have a wonderful and a safe weekend. 


Note: This post contains affiliate links.